Page images
PDF
EPUB

It is the purpose of this textbook to present a clear statement of the elements of public speaking in accordance with these two ends. The plan is to devote a chapter to each important principle, and to present it in a form that is both comprehensive and readable, so that the student upon reading the chapter carefully will have a clear and definite idea of it as a unified whole, not as a mass of mere fragmentary suggestions, and will be able with the aid of the exercises at the close of the chapter to put it at once into actual practice.

Another aim throughout the book is to keep before the student constantly the importance of clear and accurate thinking as the foundation for all true expression, and to make absolutely unmistakable the fact that any expression that is without thought as a basis is bound to be more or less mechanical and, therefore, superficial. My observation has been that many people who think very clearly express their thoughts very badly through the voice, and that mere attention to the thought alone is by no means always adequate. This book aims to teach the importance of clear thinking as the foundation of all vocal processes, but no less does it aim to show the necessity for vocal and actional responsiveness as the medium through which thought must find expression. Therefore each principle is considered in its relation to the thought, and in such a manner as will enable the student to proceed always upon a thought basis.

I should perhaps add that this is in no sense "a book of speeches.” Such excerpts from orations and other literature as have been used are in most instances

very

brief and are employed chiefly for purposes of illustration. As soon

as this volume is off the press I intend to publish a book of selections that will provide suitable material for teachers who desire to secure selections of a thoroughly practical nature for purposes of declamation. But in my judgment such material has no place in a book of this kind, the aim of which is to present the elements of public speaking.

If this book shall serve to correct some of the false conceptions that have been prevalent in regard to the subject of public speaking, and shall furnish the student a foundation for practical speech work, my purpose will be accomplished.

Throughout I have tried to make careful reference to all material quoted from books or from the words of men in public life. To these sources I am indebted for many things that have helped in making clear the principles that have been considered. And to those who by helpful criticism have offered suggestions of much value to me to my colleagues in the University of Wisconsin, Professors J. M. O'Neill, Gertrude E. Johnson, and Smiley Blanton of the Department of Public Speaking ; to Professors H. B. Lathrop and O. J. Campbell of the Department of English, and to Mr. L. C. Hull of the Department of Psychology; to Professors B. F. Tanner of the University of Oklahoma and J. S. Gaylord of the Winona Normal School; to the Newton Publishing Company for permission to quote some passages from Phillips's Effective Speaking; and to my wife for advice and encouragement throughout the preparation of this volume – I gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness.

H. G. HOUGHTON

Madison, WISCONSIN

PAGE

CHAPTER VI. ENUNCIATION .

Enunciation and pronunciation compared. Causes of poor

enunciation. The foundation of correct enunciation. Enuncia-
tion and loudness. Common faults of enunciation. The acquir-
ing of good enunciation. The commercial importance of clear
speaking. Exercises for the cultivation of good enunciation.

CHAPTER IX. TIME

Time as an element of effective expression. Quantity values

in speech. The quantity elements of poetry and prose. The
function of pause. Rhetorical and grammatical pause. Phrasing.
Rhythm. Rate. Practical importance of speech rhythm. Exer-
cises for cultivating the time elements of speech.

CHAPTER X. QUALITY

The foundation of vocal quality. Influence of the emotions.

Physiological basis of vocal quality. Classifications of formal
elocution. Why voices lack vocal color. Emotional responses.
Cultivation of vocal color through imagination; through expres-
sive literature; through extempore speaking.

CHAPTER XI. FORCE.

Force as a persuasive element in expression. Factors deter-

mining acoustic conditions. Problems of various auditoriums.
How to meet acoustic conditions. Force as a means of securing
variety. Importance of the principle of reserve power. Exer-
cises for gaining skill in the use of force.

« PreviousContinue »